Thursday 8 December 2022

These are the biggest eSport countries

The growth of eSports to what has become a billion-dollar industry was triggered by the network mode in Doom 2 and Quake, eventually turning to what we know today as the Quake Pro League. Within a year after its launch, the United States welcomed the first professional eSports league, and the growth has never really stopped.

Quickly, eSports gained popularity in Europe, after which yet another wave of video games started which was activated by the immense popularity of Starcraft. This Real-time strategy game became popular around the world and met a special response in Asia where South Korea participated in the eSports boom. This is also the place where eSports found its way to China, a major market in any industry, also in the world of eSports. 

There are still countries where the influence of eSports remains limited (mainly found in Africa and the Arabic world) which brings us to the interesting question of which specific countries are considered the world’s biggest eSport countries? In this guide we will go through the 5 most important countries of the world when it comes to eSports.

  1. South Korea

This has turned out to be the most important country for Starcraft. To this date, South Korea has left the rest of the world in its shadows as South Koreans absolutely love the game and continue organising major competitions being attended and viewed by a large number of spectators. South Koreans tend to be present in different eSports disciplines. League of Legends is one of the most popular games in eSports in the Asian country. 

  1. China

In almost any popular eSports discipline you can find the Chinese among the leaders and it’s easy to see why. China has been keeping a close eye on eSports and approximately 250 million people make up a huge audience that surpasses that of any country on earth. The widespread popularity of eSports in the country has made sure to give them many champions. There are also different eSports organisations installed in the country and in absolute numbers it would easily win from the number one on the list, South Korea. 

  1. United States

The same is actually true for the United States, which is yet another world leader thanks to its technological position and 331 million strong population. What makes them stick to the 3rd spot on the list is that Americans in general are less keen on eSports as in Asia. It is still a major venue when it comes to hosting tournaments and delivering champions.  The biggest League of Legends tournament, the 2022 World Championship took place in the United States during a co-hosted event between the US and Mexico. 

As online betting has been legalised in an increasing number of states across the country, what is known as an eSports bet, or esportsbetting on eSports events, is also gaining popularity in the US.

4. Sweden

In Europe eSports is spread in homogeneously with the north of the continent being better represented than the south. Heading to the north, we need to take Sweden apart as this is where lots of famous eSporters and eSports-related organisations come from, such as Ninjas in Pyjamas and Dreamhack, who oversee different major eSports related competitions. This has led to Sweden’s contribution to the market of Esports. Despite the widespread internet penetration, eSports tend to be less big in Europe than in Asia. 

5 Ukraine

eSports in Ukraine is known for their far going traditions and at the first edition of the World Cyber Games, Ukrainians showed a high level of skills in popular video games such as Counter-Strike and Quake. After the launch of Warcraft, the game welcomed a lot of talented players from Ukraine. The capital of the country, Kyiv, is a place where one of the best video game stadiums in Europe is located: the Cybersports Arena. It is, however, expected that the war in Ukraine will severely affect the growth of eSports which is why this country will probably not be part of the list of the biggest eSports countries in 2022.